This post is just a little bit of trivia, nothing too heavy!
According to Wikipedia, Copyright in Britain started as a reaction to printers profiting from the unregulated copying of books. As such, Charles II of England passed the Licensing Act of 1662 by the Act of Parliament.
Copyright later became applied to a wide range of creative, intellectual, and artistic forms, or “works” including poems, plays, other literary works, movies, dances, musical compositions, audio recordings, paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, software, radio, and television broadcasts.
The strangest copyright implication I am aware of is the piece by the late experimental composer John Cage, called 4min33sec silence. John’s estate owns the copyright on this recording and anyone else recording and profiting from silence would have to pay a royalty.
In recent times, Mike Batt, known for the Wombals theme tune was sued for his rendition of recorded silence. His version was titled one-minute silence.
Despite his defense that this was his silence and different from John Cage’s, he was reported to have settled an undisclosed sum out of court. Strange but true!
Also, even more strange, yet fascinating (in my opinion) was the performance of 4min33sec silence by the BBC.
It may seem a little over the top to sue over silence, however, copyright can generate big money.
For example, the copyright for Happy Birthday was reportedly purchased for $28 million by Warner and is said to generate them about $2million in revenue each year.
It was said to be composed in 1924 by two old ladies originally a teacher’s song… good morning to you.
If you know any copyright trivia, please leave a comment.